Statoil and Astomos studying the potential of LPG as a marine fuel

Could LPG make a late bid in the running as the next marine fuel? Two very big names in the sector certainly believe LPG has the potential to give LNG a run for its money in the bunkering stakes.

Japan’s Astomos Energy Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding with Norwegian energy major Statoil to study LPG as a bunker fuel with the impending 2020 sulphur regulations in mind.

“This MOU was settled to enhance further cooperation for Astomos and Statoil to share and research information for further collaboration in the fields of consideration of LPG fueled vessels, organizing global supply sites for LPG bunkering and many other fields relating to LPG bunkering,” Astomos said in a release.

The two companies already have existing business relationships focused on the transport of LPG.
Astomos is one of the world’s largest movers of LPG. It was created via the merger of Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsubishi Corporation’s LPG businesses.

Earlier this year Astomos said it was in discussions with fellow Japanese LPG importers, shipbuilders, lines and relevant government departments with a view to establishing LPG bunkering facilities on home soil.

A report from the World LPG Association published earlier this year suggested the fuel could have a significant take up among the world fleet. “LPG has extremely good properties for use in engines. It is clean to handle, has a very low carbon footprint and produces less emissions that traditional engine fuels,” the report noted.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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